"It's important that the readers realize what a horrible parallel world exists in their own country," says the attorney. That's because courageous Muslim women who fight for their liberation are still portrayed in their own culture as denigrators of their own kind -- and support from German women can sometimes be helpful in these situations.Europe's Muslim Women: Best Selling Books Tell the Horrors of Forced Marriage
Lucknow, Aug 19: An edict issued by three clerics of the Darul Uloom at Deoband has kicked up a storm not just within the Muslim community but also among many women candidates.Take that. Being ignored and treated as-worse than comical-irrelevant may be a worse fate than hanging. Can we hang them anyway though?
The order bars women from contesting the ongoing panchayati raj polls in Uttar Pradesh.
But many Muslim women say they will go ahead with their campaigns despite the edict.
In a tiny Uttar Pradesh village of Bairiakhas, just two days before the panchayat polls, 37-year-old Tajbun Nesha is making the last few rounds of her village, trying to gain all the goodwill she can to win her first election.
She has six children and has not really ventured out of her house. But with Pradhan's seat reserved for women, Tajbun now has a chance to step into the limelight.
Tajbun believes it is important for women of her community to come forward.
"So what if we are Muslims, we don't necessarily have to stay in purdah. We can also come out and work for the betterment of the people in the society around us," said Nesha.
Most women in this part of the world do not have independent identities. Even while they contest elections they are recognized as somebody's mother or wife.
In Mathauli village, Sehruneesha may be identified as Raju painter's mother, but she has a strong view on clerics issuing fatwas on women participating in elections.
"The Maulvis and the Pandits are always issuing fatwas on something or the other but who adheres to them? It is easy for them to issue fatwas, but we have to go out and earn our living and lead our lives.
Those who want to be in purdah should remain in it and those who do not want it, need not be in it," said Sehruneesha.
European powers have called off August 31 talks with Iran over its nuclear program, France said on Tuesday, marking a breakdown in two years of negotiations with Tehran to halt its sensitive atomic work.Europeans call off key nuclear talks with Iran
French Foreign Ministry spokesman Jean-Baptiste Mattei said talks on a formal European proposal made earlier this month would not now go ahead because Iran had resumed certain nuclear work in breach of a promise to freeze it while talks lasted.
The strong line has raised concern in some sections of the Kirk, with a number of senior figures reportedly uneasy that the comments are too outspoken.Thought Police #2:
The Scottish Socialist Party called the views "absolutely unacceptable".Actual Muslim brother:
National convenor Colin Fox said: "The comments of the moderator will instil fear in Muslims and give succour to those who direct hate and fear towards our Muslim brothers and sisters."
But Ashraf Anjum, president of the Islamic Centre in Glasgow, told the Scotland on Sunday newspaper: "He is right. Anyone who comes to this country, whether they are Muslim, Christian, Jewish, whatever, should obey the law and not attack this country.It's not just radical Muslims that are hypocrites; their radical leftist enablers are too.
"The overwhelming majority of Muslims will agree with him."
VIRGINIA BEACH, Va. The founder of the Christian Broadcasting Network says the United States should assassinate Venezuela's leftist President Hugo Chavez.There's some leaders you hate but can deal with. There's some you hate and would rather kill than deal with, but they can nuke you. Then there's Chavez, baby Saddam. Still killable. Not so dangerous that we have to go to war to destroy his entire regime. Let's just nip him in the bud before he goes too far. Marg Bar Chavez.
On Monday's broadcast of "The 700 Club," the Reverend Pat Robertson said, "We have the ability to take him out, and I think the time has come that we exercise that ability."Chavez, who often expresses strident opposition to U-S policies and influence, has spent the last several days in Cuba meeting with the island's communist leader Fidel Castro.Calling the president of oil-rich Venezuela a threat to U-S security, the Reverend Robertson said assassinating Chavez would be "a whole lot cheaper than starting a war." He added, "It's a whole lot easier to have some of the covert operatives do the job and get it over with."
Gun owners in Toronto may soon be prohibited from keeping their firearms at home even if they are properly licensed and registered, Mayor David Miller said yesterday.No reason? What do you want to bet that he said that with extremely expensive and heavily armed bodyguards flanking him?
"There's no reason to own a gun in Toronto -- collector or not.
If you are a collector and you have a permit, the guns need to be stored in a way that they can't be stolen. And perhaps a centralized facility of some kind could accomplish that goal," Mr. Miller told the National Post. "The law requires gun owners to have proper storage, but obviously not everyone adheres to that."Of course, you do need personal weaponry in brutal Canada, as John Lott points out-the Disarmed Dominion has twice America's violent crime rate.
Following a spate of shootings in Toronto, the Mayor has asked city lawyers and the police to determine whether the municipality has the "legal ability" to require individuals to store their weapons at a secure facility such as a gun club.
"It's a very serious issue and I don't have all the answers to it, but I've spoken to the [Police] Chief as well as our own legal department to see what we can do," Mr. Miller said.
The Mayor has repeatedly blamed lax gun laws in the United States for some of Toronto's violence, saying half of the firearms in the city originated in the United States.
While pressing the federal government to stem the smuggling of guns across the border, Mr. Miller said steps must also be taken steps to address domestic gun problems.
"I understand there was one theft from a collector two years ago, where some of the guns were recovered after being used in murders in Toronto," he said.
There is another more serious difficulty: You don't have to live next to the United States to see how hard it is to stop criminals from getting guns. The easy part is getting law-abiding citizens to disarm; the hard part is getting the guns from criminals. Drug gangs that are firing guns in places like Toronto seem to have little trouble getting the drugs that they sell and it should not be surprising that they can get the weapons they need as well.
The experiences in the U.K. and Australia, two island nations whose borders are much easier to monitor, should also give Canadian gun controllers some pause. The British government banned handguns in 1997 but recently reported that gun crime in England and Wales nearly doubled in the four years from 1998-99 to 2002-03.
Crime was not supposed to rise after handguns were banned. Yet, since 1996 the serious-violent-crime rate has soared by 69 percent; robbery is up 45 percent, and murders up 54 percent. Before the law, armed robberies had fallen 50 percent from 1993 to 1997, but as soon as handguns were banned the robbery rate shot back up, almost to its 1993 level.
The 2000 International Crime Victimization Survey, the last survey completed, shows the violent-crime rate in England and Wales was twice the rate of that in the U.S. When the new survey for 2004 comes out later this year, that gap will undoubtedly have widened even further as crimes reported to British police have since soared by 35 percent, while those in the U.S. have declined 6 percent.
Australia has also seen its violent-crime rates soar immediately after its 1996 Port Arthur gun-control measures. Violent crime rates averaged 32-percent higher in the six years after the law was passed (from 1997 to 2002) than they did in 1995. The same comparisons for armed-robbery rates showed increases of 74 percent.
During the 1990s, just as Britain and Australia were more severely regulating guns, the U.S. was greatly liberalizing individuals' abilities to carry firearms. Thirty seven of the fifty states now have so-called right-to-carry laws that let law-abiding adults carry concealed handguns after passing a criminal background check and paying a fee. Only half the states require some training, usually around three to five hours. Yet crime has fallen even faster in these states than the national average. Overall, the states in the U.S. that have experienced the fastest growth rates in gun ownership during the 1990s have experienced the biggest drops in murders and other violent crimes.
Many things affect crime: The rise of drug-gang violence in Canada and Britain is an important part of the story, just as it has long been important in explaining the U.S.'s rates. (Few Canadians appreciate that 70 percent of American murders take place in just 3.5 percent of our counties, and that a large percentage of those are drug-gang related.) Just as these gangs can smuggle drugs into the country, they can smuggle in weapons to defend their turf.
With Canada's reported violent-crime rate of 963 per 100,000 in 2003, a rate about twice the U.S.'s (which is 475), Canada's politicians are understandably nervous.
Q: The Saudis have quietly announced that they don't believe the U.S. will be their primary arms supplier in the coming decades. Are they anticipating a split with the U.S.? Is the U.S.-Saudi relationship salvageable?Read the whole fascinating interview at Eurabian Times: Saudi Arabia Exposed - an interview with John R. Bradley. Thanks to Colt and Bradley for the enlightening exchange.
BRADLEY: In the long-term I predict an invasion by the U.S. military of Eastern Province to secure the oil fields there. The plans are there, drawn up. The invasion would take a matter of hours; all that is needed is a certain number of forces to occupy all the strategic positions.
I really don't believe Washington has forgiven Riyadh for sending so many Saudis to Iraq for the fight against the occupation there, or forgotten that so many of the suicide bombers were Saudis. In a sense, Washington forgave the Saudi royals for 9/11 because they argued that Bin Laden was attacking both the U.S. and the Al-Saud, to undermine their historic oil-for-security alliance.
But Iraq is another matter entirely: there it is the Saudi royal family, not Bin Laden, who is sending the jihadis. More people now have died in Iraq as a result than were killed in New York and Washington on 9/11. By pretending to be Washington's ally while helping to blow Americans to smithereens in Iraq, the Saudi royal family is again engineering its own downfall. The invasion will come either because of internal instability or because Washington has decided to abandon the Al-Saud. The U.S. and British have had detailed invasion scenarios in place since the early 1970s, when the Saudis led an oil embargo against the west in support of the Palestinians.
U.S. forces are there already, guarding the main oil installations. The U.S. could never risk the oil falling into the hands of its enemies, and if any rumblings of an Islamist revolution were heard, that could offer the pretext. The area itself is geographically contained, and very easy to secure. Within a few hours of a decision it would be American property.
I think the Al-Saud recognize this a clear scenario, which is why they are trying to wean themselves off dependence on the US, for instance by giving their huge gas deals to three other permanent members of the UN Security Council: Russia, China and France. They also recognize the potential in forging closer ties more generally with emerging superpowers like India and China which, in the coming decades, with form a counter balance to US hegemony in much of the world. The Al-Saud may be many things, but they are not idiots. They will keep all their options open. Forging military ties with countries like Pakistan will be a part of their own realignment.